[controversial] did ben have to die?

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Post by guardienne on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 2:50 pm

i'm not really interested in the way his death was edited or whether it was real or not. or the opportunities of storytelling.

i'm interested in whether it made sense morally.

i feel odd discussing this because i've flipflopped from reylo shipper to hater to shipper again. but in the end of TROS the movie had quite thoroughly sold me on the idea that they should be together and do this thing.

but he decides otherwise. because he doesn't deserve to live? i mean, watching his personal sin count, it's kinda hard to overlook it and simply shrug it off. but for some strange reason i distinctly felt that he could have been alive and atoned and lived some kind of life.

anyway, i know opinions are heated at the moment. this isn't bait, i'm just interested in whether you feel he could have meaningfully lived in the universe that was established. i'm guessing the answer is yes around here, but i do wonder what makes it so easy to overlook the multitude of his crimes.

discuss away Lolilol
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Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:05 pm

No, and in fact many elements of the film itself (and of course the ST overall) highlight the fact that he should have lived on to atone. I'm completely comfortable with the way he dies and I don't care about any moral implications because Star Wars isn't about that life, but part of the reason people think this film feels awkward (beyond the editing, beyond the stupid story decisions, beyond the awful dialogue) is that it builds to an ultimate thesis that is empty and unearned. It feels OK for a while when you first see it, but in my opinion the countless extra factors begin to weigh on the mind in no time at all, and this has also been my experience discussing the movie with friends.

This film's thesis is too simply too sad. It isn't fleshed out enough and there aren't enough interesting and nuanced ideas at play to make it less unfortunate. The only way for Han, Luke and Leia's sacrifices throughout the ST to come across as truly earned, to me, would be Ben Solo's survival. His redemption is wonderful, his sacrifice is earned, but at the cost of what the ST felt as though it was building toward for many years, at the cost of what a writer like Rian Johnson likely would have done.

By the time Ben Solo emerges from the shell of Kylo Ren and races off to help Rey he is so jubilant and full of life that the comparison to Vader's sacrifice is truly tragic. He has never been so alive. He has never been so free. He has never been so happy, and he does it all (and dies) with a smile on his face and love in his heart. This is beautiful for him, but the echoes of his family attempting to bring him home throughout the trilogy fall on deaf ears in the end. He leaves the world as he came into it, with his mother. And that is all.
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Post by Piper Maru on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:06 pm

No, he should have lived. Especially because the text foreshadows several times how death is not his final path, and yet does it anyway for shock value.
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Post by special_cases on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:10 pm

He is young and was given symbolic rebirth before his sacrifice and that's the main reasons he should live and shape new future for himself and others in this type of story. It's not "Wire" or "Got".
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Post by Saracene on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:32 pm

The ultimate sacrifice makes sense if you look at his arc in isolation from everything else, even though I thoroughly dislike the lazy Vader rehash aspect of it. But it’s an unbearably sad and tragic conclusion as far as the OT heroes are concerned, and where Rey’s yearning for belonging is concerned; it’s nice for her to have friends but that’s just not what the story is building up to at all.
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Post by spacebaby45678 on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:47 pm

No
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Post by Gemini on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:02 pm

He did not, two marketing materials show you Rey and Kylo in the twin suns.

It didnt have to be the way it ended. It was probably a last minute choice.


Last edited by Gemini on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Moonjump05 on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:14 pm

No, and it was the easiest and worst choice to make. So far the people I've talked to who have seen it didn't want him to die either. My mom cried.
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Post by Sacrebleu on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:43 pm

No, I don't think so. This is Star Wars, not Law and Order. I think the Skywalker saga should've ended with life. Rey took the name, but it's not exactly the same to me.
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Post by rey09 on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:04 pm

@special_cases wrote:He is young and was given symbolic rebirth before his sacrifice and that's the main reasons he should live and shape new future for himself and others in this type of story. It's not "Wire" or "Got".
@special_cases

Unfortunately it seems mimicking GOT is the cool thing these days.

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Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:38 pm

TROS is a movie that has the most unfortunate things to say about sacrifice. My feeling about the ST was always that it was meant to be about how the heroes of the past grapple with maintaining the future they won by teaching and inspiring the new and less confident generation, and it does that splendidly and powerfully for two movies only to enter the final film with character roles and themes reversed to make room for terrible, lazy writing. The countless "they're dead!"--"Oh wait, never mind" moments (several of which are sacrifices) relieve any and all stakes from the narrative, and that makes Ben's sacrifice sticking at the end even more of a shock-value twist. Leia's death sticks, but she (and Han and Luke) gave their lives out of love for the newer generation, and for Ben Solo specifically, a protagonist and a young man trying to grow up.

Vader died in the OT so Kylo could live on to atone. That is the simple truth of the three trilogies, and it was the meaningful conclusion everything should have been building toward. I think sacrifice is beautiful, but the sacrifice we witnessed in the OT said something important because it was speaking to an audience who did not know Vader could be saved. Although there were arguments about whether or not Kylo would be redeemed at all, the answer was always obvious: yes, he can be, and yes, he will be. And he is redeemed, he does shed the dark side and he does give up everything for love, but that isn't what his arc was ever trying to say. This was a redemption concluded by incompetent writers who only knew how to finish a quest for atonement one way: sacrifice. Ben's arc should have made a massive commentary on what it means to grow up and be your own person and struggle with the burdens of your elders, and it doesn't do that. Instead we hear once more that love conquers all, that nobody's ever gone... but we knew that already. Star Wars told us that in the 80's when Vader gave his life for his son.

I do believe Ben's sacrifice has more to say in how it connects to the previous films because it addresses the topic of life, death and resurrection present in the prequels, but this is not given the focus it deserves, and because of that the execution is further marred.
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Post by Sacrebleu on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:53 pm

I could easily forgive every other wart of TRoS had Ben lived.

I really did enjoy the film, but I'm still struggling with the ending.
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Post by Saracene on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 6:11 pm

I can’t help but feel that this big stumble in the end happened because of the decision to make Rey a Skywalker and transfer the dramatic weight of the Skywalker saga onto her in the last stretch. So that we’re meant to feel that her taking the name in the end is the satisfying ending for the family saga. So it’s almost like a relay; Han, Luke and Leia sacrifice everything to save Ben’s soul so that he can in turn save Rey who is the ultimate heir. It’s forced and makes the Skywalker family essentially props in Rey’s story, but this balance between Rey’s story and Skywalker story has always been one of my worries about this trilogy.
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Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 6:14 pm

And perhaps the biggest problem is that TLJ has important and valid things to say about why the Jedi in the prequels failed, about how our mentors can disappoint us and lose what is most precious to them, about how mistakes are human - and TROS throws all of that out and blames Ben Solo's fall to the dark side on Palpatine. That is the most awful decision that could have been made for Kylo's story. This is the wrong statement. It's the wrong ending to the story that was being told.

TLJ tells us that failure is how we learn, TROS tells us that the failure never happened at all. It retcons the true core question of the ST: how can we keep the Anakin Skywalker's and the Ben Solo's of the world from coming back? How can the Jedi acknowledge their flaws and that repeating those errors creates monsters? How can Luke make up his errors to Ben? How can Ben realize that he has to let go of his pain in order to help people who feel the way he does? Who cares, apparently. Because Palpatine was the one to blame all along. Luke and Leia and Han never made a single mistake in their lives. Palpatine is just that good at manipulation. Ben is a hapless victim of circumstance, not a child of heroes who fell to ruin because of tragic circumstances.

Rey was a solution because she was not haunted by the ghosts of the Jedi past. She had the potential to make a difference because of her spirit and her belief in others, and that was what I loved about her character. She was meant to be half of the solution, she was meant to be among those who honours the past and looks toward a new future with clarity about how to stop fear and loneliness from taking good people (like Anakin and Ben) to the dark side. Where TROS ends, it'll probably all just happen again because the topic is simply dropped. And wow. Take a moment to think about that.

Rian's story was the right one. I don't give a single heck if you like or don't like TLJ. It was the story that needed to be told in the sequels, and JJ Abrams and co. destroyed it. To me, this is among the true losses of the ST. It keeps coming back to me as one of the most relevant, and it's once again an incredible theme that was swept under the rug with no answer because nothing in TROS bothers to say a single thing about the the relationship between Luke, Leia and Ben Solo.
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Post by nickandnora on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 6:20 pm

@Gemini wrote:He did not, two marketing materials show you Rey and Kylo in the twin suns.

It didnt have to be the way it ended. It was probably a last minute choice.
@Gemini

You know, I like to think I'm a reasonable person who is not prone to conspiracy theories. Yes, I really analyzed those leaks for error, but in the end there WAS a huge omission so I feel somewhat validated in this respect.

But I'm starting to have this niggling feeling, especially in the last 24 hours, that something was indeed cut out, and perhaps even mandated to be cut out. Just... something is odd. The way the conversations/interviews shifted since April at celebration. The fact that the cast seemed subdued after they supposedly saw it a few weeks ago (remember the interview panel the next day). Adam's absence and silence. The fact that Ben's death makes no sense within the larger context, even of this film. The purported 10-15 minutes (I might not have that number exactly right) that were cut within the last few months. The title of the last track "A New Home." The Art book being delayed. Rey not having a long enough reaction to his death. The final scene lacking closure. John saying (and someone can find what this is from) that he "heard the ending might be changing." Even (and I realize this is a huge stretch) Adam associating "Leaving on a Jet Plane" with Kylo (do I have that anecdote right? someone else can confirm). And in that same vein, the insinuation from Adam that his last scene had LINES.

Here's what I'm starting to wonder... was Ben supposed to be revived (maybe by Leia sacrificing her lifeforce instead of becoming a force ghost) and was he then supposed to fly away and go in hiding, with the Rey and Ben meeting again one day on Tatooine? Is that what was left on the cutting room floor and replaced with what we got instead? Because if so... Jesus.

I don't buy the entirety of that inside info anecdote from the other thread. But I *could* somewhat buy the end part of it; that this movie was ordered to be chopped up by some higher ups. If this is what happened, and there's actual FOOTAGE of another ending out there somewhere (actually scratch that - of an actual longer movie that wasn't chopped up the way it was)... I mean. Damn.

I have no reason to fully believe this. Part of me doesn't. Part of me doesn't WANT to; I'd rather believe this is the movie they made and oh well if the choices suck. But if there's something else out there... well... how do we go about finding it and making things right? Lol. Reylo community goes on a quest for the MacGuffin for real?

Again, I hope this doesn't come across as kooky. I just had to get it out.

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Post by Kyla Ren on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 6:22 pm

No, he did not have to die.  Tragic stories have a place and they can be truly epic.  Some of the greatest movies, plays, books, operas, etc. have tragic endings.  But it doesn't feel right for Star Wars.  As I said before in the spoiler discussion thread, I think I could accept Ben's death if he had had some more time with Rey and they could have had more than two seconds of happiness together and/or if by the end of the movie they had a child or Rey was pregnant.  It would have sent a message that all the struggles and sacrifices of the OT3 and Ben weren't for nothing, and that the Skywalker bloodline would live on in Rey and Ben's offspring.  But they crushed all of that.  So much for the "satisfying and hopeful" ending. Sad  Sorry, I'm still very sad and bitter over this whole thing.
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Post by Gemini on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 6:36 pm

@nickandnora

I think you are right.

The fact there are like.... no scenes of rey mourning ....would indicate a last minute cut and reshoot of the scene. She seems happy to be on tatooine "alone" it's not matching with what just preceded the scene.

Also the s*** ghost effects.. last minute, not rendered all that well....mess
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Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 7:33 pm

I do believe the ending was always that because JJ and Terrio are just very incompetent. The execution of Palpatine's return and Rey Palpatine are two of the biggest examples of that, but there are countless and they fall on all characters and every part of the story. I absolutely buy that the movie was originally longer and much more coherent before it was chopped to smithereens in editing (and I believe the ending sequence at least had a few versions and at least one with Rey together with her friends) but no, I think this was the ending JJ intended.
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Post by nickandnora on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 7:43 pm

@FrolickingFizzgig wrote:I do believe the ending was always that because JJ and Terrio are just very incompetent. The execution of Palpatine's return and Rey Palpatine are two of the biggest examples of that, but there are countless and they fall on all characters and every part of the story. I absolutely buy that the movie was originally longer and much more coherent before it was chopped to smithereens in editing (and I believe the ending sequence at least had a few versions and at least one with Rey together with her friends) but no, I think this was the ending JJ intended.
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God, I really and truly hope so because trust me, I don't actually like thinking the other way for even a minute.

Yes, the way that the editing clearly touches literally every part of the story as you said is what gives me comfort (if you can call it that) that the editing oddities that are making me afraid of a conspiracy were just a mandate to make an already pretty not-good film shorter for no good goddamn reason. The fact that, as you said, they eliminated basics like establishing shots of all things accounts for the cut down run-time on its own anyway.

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Post by Atenais on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 9:19 pm

@FrolickingFizzgig wrote:And perhaps the biggest problem is that TLJ has important and valid things to say about why the Jedi in the prequels failed, about how our mentors can disappoint us and lose what is most precious to them, about how mistakes are human - and TROS throws all of that out and blames Ben Solo's fall to the dark side on Palpatine. That is the most awful decision that could have been made for Kylo's story. This is the wrong statement. It's the wrong ending to the story that was being told.

TLJ tells us that failure is how we learn, TROS tells us that the failure never happened at all. It retcons the true core question of the ST: how can we keep the Anakin Skywalker's and the Ben Solo's of the world from coming back? How can the Jedi acknowledge their flaws and that repeating those errors creates monsters? How can Luke make up his errors to Ben? How can Ben realize that he has to let go of his pain in order to help people who feel the way he does? Who cares, apparently. Because Palpatine was the one to blame all along. Luke and Leia and Han never made a single mistake in their lives. Palpatine is just that good at manipulation. Ben is a hapless victim of circumstance, not a child of heroes who fell to ruin because of tragic circumstances.

Rey was a solution because she was not haunted by the ghosts of the Jedi past. She had the potential to make a difference because of her spirit and her belief in others, and that was what I loved about her character. She was meant to be half of the solution, she was meant to be among those who honours the past and looks toward a new future with clarity about how to stop fear and loneliness from taking good people (like Anakin and Ben) to the dark side. Where TROS ends, it'll probably all just happen again because the topic is simply dropped. And wow. Take a moment to think about that.

Rian's story was the right one. I don't give a single heck if you like or don't like TLJ. It was the story that needed to be told in the sequels, and JJ Abrams and co. destroyed it. To me, this is among the true losses of the ST. It keeps coming back to me as one of the most relevant, and it's once again an incredible theme that was swept under the rug with no answer because nothing in TROS bothers to say a single thing about the the relationship between Luke, Leia and Ben Solo.
@FrolickingFizzgig

I agree with every word you said. It's strange, because I thought we had different opinion, but I'm with you in this.

*****

And, yes, he didn't need to die. This is so wrong in so many levels. If we talk about the SW universe, it's very sad and tragic that the son of Han and Leia didn't have a second chance after abandoning the dark side and making the right thing. If we talk about the movies, his death is a lazy choice, it's just repeating something that happened before, as @FrolickingFizzgig, this story was already told. If we're talking about movies being parallel to real life, the message is very depressing: people who make mistakes don't deserve a second chance.

From what I see, SW is stuck in time, because people want it that way. And, unfortunately, taking a look at the world right now, it makes sense.
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Post by OrionStars on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 9:32 pm

Did ben have to die? NOPE
But he still had to die because.... [controversial] did ben have to die? YPQsCMr
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Post by Atenais on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 9:47 pm

@OrionStars wrote:Did ben have to die? NOPE
But he still had to die because.... [controversial] did ben have to die? YPQsCMr
@OrionStars

I just can't with the entire cast talking about how f****ing satisfying is this movie. GAD!
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Post by OrionStars on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 9:52 pm

@Atenais wrote:

I just can't with the entire cast talking about how f****ing satisfying is this movie. GAD!
@Atenais

Oscar said he wishes he was ded in TFA, while JB is still processing TROS so Ridley is probably the only one who is satisfied with this mess.
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Post by nickandnora on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 10:06 pm

@OrionStars

I wouldn't even really count on Daisy being satisfied, TBH. Girl said a lot of really opposite things and was all over the place, considering what's actually in the film. She's just a good actress and, probably more importantly, she out of all of them was likely under the STRICTEST mandate to push the film, hard. I mean, maybe she is satisfied, but there's just too much else going on to be sure.

John... his silence was/is the most interesting to me and it was after that cast screening that he said nothing about afterwards that I started to become suspicious.

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Post by Kyla Ren on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 12:34 am

@Atenais wrote:
@OrionStars wrote:Did ben have to die? NOPE
But he still had to die because.... [controversial] did ben have to die? YPQsCMr
@OrionStars

I just can't with the entire cast talking about how f****ing satisfying is this movie. GAD!
@Atenais

It really is unbelievable.  I don't know how anyone from any corner of the fandom could find this ending satisfying. Mad
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